End of the Year Day One: Sundials

By Maryam Hassan

Throughout December we at PT:HQ are bringing you end of year lists from bands, labels and promoters. We’ll have a new one for you everyday so keep your eyes peeled for them! See all the lists here.




To kick us off in style we have the wonderful Sundials! Their EP ‘Kick’ was one of our favs this year at Punktastic! Here’s what they loved this year:

Top 3 Albums

Sheer Mag – 7”

This is one of those records that makes me wish I spent less time in my youth learning Blink-182 songs, and more time learning Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello and ACDC. To be completely honest I have no idea if thats whats influencing this band. I’m not going to pretend that I know anything about rock and roll in the 60’s and 70’s (hint: I don’t). All I know is that Sheer Mag’s self titled 7” is the catchiest riff fest I’ve heard this year, and that I fucking love it.

Speedy Ortiz – Real Hair 7”

I’m gonna be that guy for a second and say that I booked this band twice in a basement in Richmond VA two years ago. Both shows had maybe 15-25 people attending. I’m not proud of that. I did my best to promote the shows, fact is Speedy Ortiz wasn’t really the behemoth of a band they are now – but holy shit were they good. They were so good in fact, that I remember watching them in disbelief, wondering how they weren’t the biggest band in the world. Since their 2013 premier LP, Major Arcana, they’ve been getting the respect they rightly deserve. They’ve toured with Guided By Voices, Stephen Malkamus and the Jicks, The Breeders, and now Mark Timony’s new band Ex-Hex. None of this really has to do with Real Hair, except to explain that I have a vested interest in this band. I think the fact they have gotten so suddenly popular playing a style of music that is not only out of style, but remarkably hard to pin-point, is indicative of the genius in the song writing. Real Hair is 4 riff-heavy songs that will get stuck in your head for days. I would compare them to other bands, but I think that wouldn’t do them justice. This is a unique band, and they deserve at least one listen by everyone who likes music with guitars.

Radiator Hospital – Torch Song

As much as I like the technical-wizardry of the aforementioned records, there is often nothing I like so much as a simple, yet unique pop song. The art of writing a 3-4 chord song that doesn’t sound like the gajillion bands that have written love songs before you is surprisingly difficult. I would argue that most bands don’t really achieve whatever “uniqueness” means. It’s not something you can pinpoint, bands either have that feeling or they don’t. On Torch Song, Radiator Hospital’s Sam Parrott Cook is probably taking influence from other Michigan greats like Paul Baribeau, but he has that special something. People have gravitated towards this band pretty quickly, and thats rightly deserved. While Rad Hos’ first record had a few gems (cough Our Song cough), Torch song is all bangers, and thats a hefty accomplishment, as its 15 god damn songs.

Top 3 Songs

Dogs on Acid – Make It Easy

Philadelphia’s Dogs on Acid have thus far released two songs. I wanted pretty badly to put this two song band camp release as my favorite record of the year, but that doesn’t really make sense, as its not a record, is it? Anyway, the band features Joe and Peter from Algernon Cadwallader at their songwriting best. Whatever preconceptions people might have about a band that is 50% comprised of the band which sparked the so-called “emo-revival” will probably be thrown out the window on first listen. There are no noodles here. In comparison to their old efforts Peter and Joe are taking a more measured approach. The lyrics are more pronounced, and the songs have a more distinct, not-one-note (looking at you Emajor emotional-emo-breakdown-anthems) feel to them. People will probably say this sounds like Weezer, as apparently anything that is melodic, mid-tempo, features a major scale, and not all power chords sounds like Weezer. Personally, if we’re talking comparisons to 90’s rock legends, I think this shit sounds like Archers of Loaf, and Archers of Loaf is one of my favorite bands. Needless to say, I fucking love these two songs.

Room Runner – Chrono Trigger

I guess its weird that I’m picking favorite tracks from my not-favorite-albums of the year, but hey, that happens sometimes right? Anyway, Roomrunner is a fantastic grunge/rock/pop band from Baltimore that has finally escaped their fate as a Nirvana-Like with their 12” EP, Separate. This thing has the trappings of 90’s grunge, sure, but they make it their own. Chrono Trigger is nearly 5 minutes of meticulously-crafted-super-heavy pop. For fans of Beck as much as Mudhoney, check it out.

Sheer Mag – Point Breeze

See above. Though this was hard to pick, Point Breeze is probably my favorite song of the 4-amazing tracks on on Sheer Mag’s debut 7”

Top Pick for 2015

Dogs on Acid – Dogs on Acid 2-song-bandcamp-release

I realize it’s not a record, but I don’t care. These two songs have got to be my favorite thing to come out of 2014 thus far. If Dogs on Acid does to DIY punk what Algernon Cadwallader did, I am going to love the next 5 years of music. For the sake of it, I’m putting the other song of the two on here.

Some more recent news articles

ArcTanGent announces The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die for 2023

NEWS: Tigercub announce new album 'As Blue As Indigo'

Lonely the Brave release 'Keeper' documentary